Global Laser Talk #3 March 2013

March 8, 2013

Pitching a World TB Day Editorial to Your Newspaper

Engage: Since it was discovered more than 130 years ago, tuberculosis (TB) has morphed from relatively simple bacteria that could be cured with drugs that cost only a few dollars in drugs into a virtually incurable airborne plague.

State the Problem: Because of poor health systems, many patients around the world are misdiagnosed, fail to finish their anti-TB drugs, or are given fake or sub-standard drugs. All of this creates more and more drug resistance. Years ago, when a cure was found, the U.S. and other wealthy countries virtually wiped out TB. But because we took our eye off the ball in other parts of the world, TB is now back with a vengeance.

Illustrate the solution: This fall, a replenishment meeting for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will take place. The Global Fund is a “best buy” in global health, since every $1 the U.S. contributes to the Global Fund is matched with $2 from other donors.

Call to action: The TB health threat — and our chance to change things for the better — is relevant to every American. As we’ve seen in recent reports, TB anywhere is TB everywhere. I would like for my hometown newspaper to consider writing about the issue. Would you consider writing an editorial for World TB Day urging President Obama and Congress to prioritize TB and the Global Fund during the FY14 budgeting process? I have an editorial packet for you, and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Capitol Hill really must act now before even more harm is done.

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